The Lego model of Norwich Castle is on display at the museum
A scale model of Norwich Castle made from 5,000 Lego bricks has been displayed at the Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery. Manufactured by Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service planning and performance manager Austin Goreham, the 32cm square model took 500 hours to design and 20 hours to build.
Austin was inspired to build the model by ongoing work to return the keep to its original Norman layout. As Austin explains, his memories of the castle and his passion for Lego came together in this labor of love.
“Growing up in Norwich there was always one significant building that caught my imagination and sparked an interest in local history. That building is Norwich Castle, the box on the hill. Although now far from the child excited who visited and imagined all the events that could have happened in the majestic interior of the castle, I always find my imagination and curiosity soar every time I visit.
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“As I read about the grand plans for the dungeon’s restoration, that enthusiastic child in me returned and with it sparked another passion from my childhood…I could use Lego to build a detailed version of the castle.”
Clr. John Ward, Chairman of the Norfolk Museums Joint Committee, Norfolk County Council, said: “Austin’s dedication to creating this model is a great example of how important Norwich Castle is to the people of Norwich and of Norfolk. Like Austin, I visited the castle as a child and remember the impact it had on my imagination. Congratulations and thanks to Austin for his time and ingenuity in creating such a fantastic engagement tool for our Royal Palace Reborn project.
Austin hopes his incredible model will help raise awareness of Norwich Castle’s exciting transformation plans through the £13.5million Royal Palace Reborn project, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
To make his replica, Austin started by using special design software, working from a 3D drone image of the castle to create a detailed blueprint of the model. He then orders second-hand bricks from all over Europe and spends his Christmas holidays building the castle using the digital plans. He estimates that it took around 500 hours to design and 20 hours to build.
Lego fans can read more about how he designed and built the model and the technical challenges he overcame in an article Austin wrote for the Norwich Castle Blog. He handed the model over to the museum on Monday 16 May where it was displayed in the central rotunda area of the museum’s galleries, so that the public can now view his masterpiece. He hopes it will be enjoyed and inspire young Lego enthusiasts to build something special and encourage visitors to learn more about the incredible history of Norwich Castle.